5 places to vagabond this summer

Warm sunshine and the open road never fail to ignite wanderlust. Long days stretch ahead, beckoning to be filled with adventure and explorations. Distant points on the map are ripe with possibility. Before you, the entire world opens up. And it's waiting for you to find it -- to "tramp a perpetual journey" as Walt Whitman says. The imagined prospects thrill your blood. You have to hit the road and, by vagabonding, find yourself. But where should you go? Perhaps a few of the corners less traveled. 1. Dubrovnik, Croatia Home to one of the 10 best preserved medieval walled… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | June 10, 2015
Category: Central America, Destinations, Europe, Oceania

Vagabonding Field Report: Organic Chocolate Farm in Costa Rica

Cost/day: $20/person What’s the strangest thing that's happened lately? Yes, I am nine months pregnant (today is my due date). But instead of sitting at home waiting around, we decided to visit an organic chocolate farm (and swam in a tropical river on the way. Okay, I just took pictures, I didn't swim.) We had to travel along the same bumpy, dirt road that we did to get to the beach just a few weeks ago, but only part way. Describe a typical day: We're staying in the mountains of the Central Valley, with a gorgeous view of the ocean… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | August 13, 2014
Category: Central America, Destinations, General

Vagabonding Field Report: flat tires and bumpy road adventures (while pregnant) in Costa Rica

Cost/day: $50/day What’s the strangest thing that's happened lately? We left the beach life in Nicaragua and are housesitting in the mountains of Costa Rica, above San Jose. I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant, but that doesn't stop us from taking a trip to the beach after we've been here a couple of weeks. You can see the ocean from our house in the mountains of Costa Rica, but it appears deceptively close. What we think will be a short drive to enjoy the sun and waves, turns into a 2 hour bumpy, off-road adventure and a flat tire. I hope… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | July 9, 2014
Category: Central America, Family Travel, Vagabonding Field Reports

Vagabonding Field Report: Living the beach life in Las Peñitas, Nicaragua

Cost/day: $30/day What’s the strangest thing that's happened lately? After crossing two borders in one day, and hanging out in León and Las Peñitas, we've finally found a place to stay for a little while. My oldest son discovered a bat on the floor in the room where's he's staying in our rented beach house. He tried to let it go outside, but it doesn't fly. It crawled up a coconut tree, then glided into the attic of the neighbors house... oops. Sorry neighbors. Describe a typical day: In the morning we do study time with the kids, then they… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | June 11, 2014
Category: Central America, Family Travel, Vagabonding Field Reports

Vagabonding Field Report: Crossing two Borders in one day (and running out of money)

Cost/day: $100/day What’s the strangest thing that's happened lately? We left El Salvador and crossed the Honduras AND Nicaragua border in one day with our five kids (and ran out of money at the Nicaragua border.) Oh, and I'm six months pregnant. Describe a typical day: This was an untypical day...  after being unable to find a house we wanted to rent in El Salvador, we decided to head to Nicaragua to find a place. Since there was only a small portion of Honduras we needed to pass through, we opted to cross both borders in the same day. What… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | May 14, 2014
Category: Central America, Family Travel, Vagabonding Field Reports

A Pedestrian Experience of the Cinta Costera III: Casco Viejo, Panama

Panama is not the most walkable city but there are newer pieces and parts planned in pedestrian friendly style. The Casco Viejo is a city of contrasts, a city under restoration intertwined with a city crumbling down. When I arrived there unexpectedly for a week's stay I was surprised at the intensity of traffic crowding through the narrow streets. Walking along the waters edge from the old town to the fish market, I watched the construction progressing on an elevated road above the bay. A u-shaped causeway was taking shape. Heavy machinery and work crews stood silhouetted against the skyline.… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | April 29, 2014
Category: Central America, Destinations

Vagabonding Field Report: The coast of El Salvador

Cost/day: $55/day What’s the strangest thing that's happened lately? Between my husband and my son, they were stung three times during the one week we were in El Salvador! Describe a typical day: We're driving most days, exploring the coast and searching for a place where we could possibly rent a house. Stopping at towns along the way, such as El Zonte, San Blas and Liberia, we check out the beaches and rental prices. The roads are windy along the coastline in the north, with cliffs that offer vistas of the sea. Sunshine reflects off the ocean. The breeze blows,… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | April 9, 2014
Category: Central America, Family Travel, Vagabonding Field Reports

Getting robbed and questioning connectedness

We turned the corner on the path and my heart immediately dropped. We had seen this man before. He passed us a while back, while we were taking pictures of our idyllic setting. Now here he was, standing amongst the corn, looking out over the lake, and waiting- for us. I knew something wasn't right and I froze. He mumbled one word: "dinero." Aaron looked to me for a translation, not believing what was happening. "He wants your money", I said simply. "Money, rapido!", the man said. I registered, not for the first time, the machete in his hand, hanging… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (5)  | March 20, 2014
Category: Central America, Ethics

Vagablogging Field Report: Extreme Bungee Adventure in Guatemala

Cost: $22/adults $12.50/kids What’s the coolest thing you’ve done lately? Extreme Bungee!! Get strapped into a harness and shot into the air with up to 4G forces pressing against your body… basically you’re a human catapult. That’s extreme bungee. Describe the experience: We are picked up by Lionel who owns and runs Xtreme Bungee. He drives us a few minutes outside of Antigua where he has an incredible human catapult machine set up. One by one, all the members of my family (except for the two youngest and me, the pregnant mommy) take turns being shot into the air, reacting with screams… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | March 12, 2014
Category: Central America, Family Travel, Vagabonding Field Reports

Is there really such a thing as “us” and “them”?

As we travel around the world, one of our most important goals is to connect with people and find out what common threads exist that bind humanity together. It is so very easy to categorize people and to explain away the worlds ills with generalizations and dinner table chats on politics. But who are the individuals who inhabit our earth? Who are the people we talk about dismissively during those dinner table chats, sandwiched somewhere between the main course and dessert? How are they affected by the grander conflicts of our world? What do we have in common with them?… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | March 6, 2014
Category: Central America, Ethical Travel